Selfless father takes kids out for another fast food meal, gets to eat too

Selfless father takes kids out for another fast food meal, gets to eat too
PHOTO: Video screengrab

The selfless Filipino father at Jollibee has taken his daughters out for another meal of fast food. But this time, he didn't merely watch - he got to eat too!

Ryan Arebuabo, 38, rose to online fame after he was pictured looking on as his two girls, aged six and eight, enjoyed his treat of fried chicken at a Jollibee outlet in the Philippines. It was later revealed that the feast was to celebrate the six-year-old's upcoming graduation from kindergarten.

After the photo was uploaded on Mar 12, netizens came to learn the tragic story about how he suffered a stroke and was living in a slum as a single dad after his wife left him.

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The touching photo and story quickly went viral with netizens expressing their adoration for the selfless father, as Arebuabo has come to be known.

ABS-CBN reported early this morning (Mar 27) that Jollibee offered to treat the family to anything they wanted from the menu.

A video by Philippine news agency ABS-CBN shows the trio having spaghetti and burgers.

Arebuabo is also seen doing rehabilitation therapy exercises, sponsored by the ABS-CBN Lingkod Kapamilya Foundation, for the stroke he suffered four years ago which left him partially paralysed and impaired his speech. He previously told ABS-CBN that he had never gone for rehabilitation therapy, and that he last visited the doctor three years ago.

At around the time of his stroke, Arebuabo's wife left him, taking their daughters with her.

Arebuabo later managed to get the custody of the kids, and has been providing for them by working at a convenience store he set up using a stall cart he received from the Philippines' Department of Social Welfare and Development. He earns 100 to 200 pesos (around S$2.80 to S$5.50) from there, and gets a monthly cash grant of 2,200 pesos from a government initiative for the poor.

Due to overwhelming interest in helping Arebuabo, a Facebook page has been created to share contact information and updates.

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huizhen@sph.com.sg

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